How to Make Ermine Frosting A Step-by-Step Guide

Dive into the world of vintage cake decorating with Ermine Frosting, also known as boiled milk frosting or flour frosting. This classic, old-fashioned frosting hails from the days before cream cheese and buttercreams dominated the scene. Known for its velvety smooth texture and not-too-sweet taste, Ermine Frosting is the perfect complement to any cake, offering a lighter, fluffier alternative to the often overly sweet frostings of today. This guide will lead you through the steps to create this delectably smooth topping that promises to elevate your cakes to a new level of elegance and flavor.




Why You’ll Love Ermine Frosting:

  • Subtly Sweet: Offers a delightful balance, perfect for those who prefer their desserts less sugary.
  • Silky Texture: Its smooth, airy consistency is unmatched, making it a joy to spread on cakes.
  • Versatile: Pairs beautifully with various cake flavors, from chocolate to red velvet.
  • Historically Rich: Brings a touch of vintage charm to your baking repertoire.

Ingredients Notes For Ermine Frosting:

  • Milk: The base of the roux, whole milk is preferred for its richness, though 2% can also work.
  • Flour: Thickens the milk into a paste, creating the unique texture of the frosting.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the frosting without making it cloying.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, ensures the frosting is creamy and spreadable.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor depth. Pure vanilla extract is recommended for the best taste.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Make the Roux: In a small saucepan, whisk together milk and flour until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens into a paste. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Cream the Butter: In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. The sugar should be well incorporated and not gritty.
  3. Combine: Gradually add the cooled roux to the butter mixture, a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all the roux is added, beat the frosting until it becomes light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Frost Your Cake: Use the frosting immediately to decorate your cake, or store it in the refrigerator if not using right away.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Let it come to room temperature and rewhip before using.
  • Freeze: Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and rewhip to restore texture.


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How to Make Ermine Frosting A Step-by-Step Guide


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Make the Flour Paste:
    • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and resembles thick pudding. This process should take about 5-7 minutes.
    • Once thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar:
    • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. The sugar won’t completely dissolve in the butter, but the mixture should be very light in color and fluffy in texture.
  3. Add the Flour Paste:
    • Once the flour and milk mixture has cooled to room temperature, add it to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, and resembles whipped cream. This might take about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Add Vanilla:
    • Mix in the vanilla extract until well combined.
  5. Use the Frosting:
    • The frosting is now ready to use and can be spread on cooled cakes or cupcakes. If the frosting seems too soft to spread, you can chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up slightly before using.
  • Author: Maria

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